I live in a valley. The lovely things about living in a valley are the sunsets, the morning fog, and that there are lots of hills to climb. Any direction that I choose to walk, there’s bound to be a steep incline or a slow rise, the reward at the end of which is a view; a beautiful view of all the mountain ranges which surround the Canberra region.
The first time I walked to Farrer Ridge, it didn't occur to me that it’s a ‘ridge.’ And I live in a valley, remember? Which meant that my leisurely afternoon stroll quickly because a sweat-fest as I slowly, slowly, plodded up that ridge. I considered turning back several times, looking at the road stretched out in front of me. This is ridiculous, I thought, why would they make a road this steep?! But my stubbornness kicked in and I plodded on, June strapped to my chest and a bag on my back, and I made it up that hill.
I try to walk up the ridge at least twice a week. There are lots of entry points, so I try to head a different way each time, but I think I’ve found my favourite. The incline is the steepest, but it’s over quickly, and once you reach the top the grassy plateau stretches out before you, a path leading into the scrubby bush. There’s a few up and downs, a bench to enjoy the view, and then back down the other side.
I haven’t explored a lot of the ridge yet; I know there’s Farrer Hill to climb, as well as several other tracks up and down and around the peak. Once I can reach the top without huffing and huffing I will explore further - it’s a bit of a walk from our house so by the time I get there I’m often ready to go home again.
When I lived in Perth, I lamented the fact that there wasn’t any bushland close to my house. I love bush walking, I love feeling small and insignificant and alone (although now never alone with June strapped to me). We’ve been living in Canberra for just over two months now, and I think it’s spoiled me. I don’t think I’ll settle for living further than a slow plod from the bush again.